4 Steps To Success When Life Gets Hard

4 Steps To Success When Life Gets Hard

via Eric Barker

The World Health Organization says that Icelandic guys are the longest living men on the planet. They make it to 81.2-years-old, beating the world average by 13.2 years. But it’s not because of their lifestyle. Their obesity rates hover around the global average and their activity levels are nothing to write home about. So why the heck do they live so long?

Dr. Kari Stefansson wanted an answer. He ran Harvard’s neurology department before returning to Iceland to study the genetics of his own people. What’s interesting about Iceland is that it’s had near-zero immigration — everyone there is a descendant of the same group of folks who arrived on the island 1100 years ago. So here’s where things get weird…

Because the genetics of Icelanders today don’t resemble their ancestors much at all. Stefansson says, “We found that the DNA from the settlers of Iceland is closer to the DNA of today’s Norwegians and Celts than it is to the DNA of today’s Icelanders.” So what the heck completely transformed these people? Stefansson thinks he has the answer…

Iceland is a horrible place to live.

For most of those thousand-plus years, food was scarce. Winter lasts nine months, sometimes with just four hours of sunlight. There’s precipitation 213 days a year. Life on that island has been so difficult there was zero population growth for centuries.

And that’s their secret. What made Icelandic men the longest lived on the planet. What unrecognizably changed their DNA: discomfort. In Stefansson’s own words:

This f***ing wet rock in the North Atlantic that has been punishing us relentlessly for the last eleven hundred years.

All that hard living made them stronger, unrecognizably altering their DNA.

And, yes, this is the part where I say we all need a little more discomfort in our lives. We need to deliberately make our lives more challenging. And this may also be the part where you say, “Bring your face a little closer to my fist, Eric. I want to make your life more challenging.”

I get it. After a year of pandemic life and lockdown you don’t want any more challenges, thankyouverymuch. But there’s a little part of you that knows there’s some truth here. Growth and improvement happen outside our comfort zone. The moments in life that made you better, that make you swell with pride when you think about them, from career achievements to education to parenting, well, they did not come easy.

So, yeah, we’re going to talk about how a little discomfort — deliberate discomfort — can be something we need to live better lives. And we’re gonna get some help from someone who went down the discomfort rabbit hole and learned some valuable lessons. Michael Easter is the author of a wonderful new book, “The Comfort Crisis.”

Are you up for a challenge? I understand if you’re not. (If you want to be re-inserted into The Matrix, just say so. Agents are standing by.) But if you’re willing to suffer a little bit with me, I promise we’ll both come out of this stronger – and happier.

Let’s get to it…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE